Lord Galadedrid of House Damodred, more commonly known as Galad, is the only son of Tigraine Mantear and Taringail Damodred and is the half-brother of Rand al'Thor through his mother, and of Elayne and Gawyn Trakand through his father. His sigil is a winged silver sword, point down. He is the current Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light.
"he was tall and slender with dark hair and dark eyes; he was almost too handsome for masculinity."
(-The Wheel of Time Companion pg 289.)
Galad's mother Tigraine was the Daughter-Heir of Andor until she mysteriously disappeared, leading to the Third Succession War after the death of his grandmother Queen Mordrellen Mantear. Morgase Trakand won the succession war, becoming the new queen of Andor, and married Tigraine's abandoned husband Taringail, a nephew of the king of Cairhien, with whom she had a son, Gawyn, and a daughter, Elayne. Taringail later died in a hunting accident. Galad was raised by his stepmother Morgase and considers her as his mother.
Although Elayne seems to find Galad overly just, Gawyn seems to look up to him.
In the Royal Palace
Training in Tar Valon
Galad then goes with Gawyn and Elayne to Tar Valon where he trains to become a Warder. He is an extremely good swordsman, besting Hammar more often than not, and "always does the right thing, with no regard for who it hurts."
He meets Egwene al'Vere for the first time in the White Tower and develops an attraction to her. He is concerned when the girls go missing and tries to question the girls on where they disappeared to. He and Gawyn spar Matrim Cauthon and Mat beats the both of them with a quarterstaff. Morgase comes to the White Tower and when she finds that her daughter is missing, she becomes furious. Galad and Gawyn manage to talk their way out of being taken out of the White Tower by her.
Joining the Children
While training to become a Warder, he begins to have a few drinks with the Whitecloaks and Eamon Valda gives him a book on the foundation of the Children of the Light. He later joins the Whitecloaks due to the split in the Tower and was quickly promoted due to his skill with a sword and zeal for righteousness. The Whitecloaks believe in the destruction of Darkfriends and they believe that all Aes Sedai are Darkfriends.
He meets up with Nynaeve al'Meara and Elayne in Samara and tries to convince them to go straight back to Caemlyn. He secures a riverboat for them, which was also wanted by The Prophet. This causes friction and then all out riots between the Whitecloaks and Children of the Prophet. Galad correctly feels no remorse at this as he swore an oath to Nynaeve that he would secure a boat, and knows that safegarding the girls was more important. He cuts down a number of the Prophet's men as he escorts the girls to the boat where they part company there.
Becoming Lord Captain Commander
Upon hearing that Eamon Valda, the Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light, raped and supposedly killed his stepmother, Morgase, he rode with Trom, Dain Bornhald, and Jaret Byar to the Whitecloaks' new headquarters to kill him.
Galad challenged Valda to "Trial Beneath the Light", a duel to the death between two of the Children. After a fierce battle, Galad kills Valda and is acclaimed the new Lord Captain Commander. He believes that the Children need to be at Tarmon Gai'don even if that means fighting beside Aes Sedai to do that.
He flees with his force from Seanchan-controlled lands, only to be betrayed by his scouts, who were secretly working for Rhadam Asunawa. His force runs into a much larger force of Seanchan-led Children of the Light. Asunawa is also there and demands Galad surrender himself to questioning, naming him Darkfriend in the process. Rather than have Whitecloak fight Whitecloak, Galad surrenders and has his force merge with the other force. After being brutally beaten by the Hand of the Light he is rescued by Trom, Byar and Bornhald. They come in with the other Lord Captains previously standing against him. They drop a sack containing Asunawa's head and pledge loyalty to him.
Confrontation with Perrin Aybara
While leading his army, he talks to his Lord Captains about his plans of sending a letter to the White Tower to ask if the Children of the Light can become allies with the Aes Sedai. His men then capture a group a travelers who are the forward group of Perrin Aybara's army. Convinced by Dain Bornhald and Byar that Aybara is a shadowspawn, he demands to do battle with his so-called foe. However, after negotiation, at which he discovers his mother, Morgase, hiding in Aybara's camp, Galad agrees to give Perrin a fair trial. Morgase is chosen to be the impartial judge. During her stay with the Whitecloaks, Morgase tries to convince Galad that life is not always black and white using the example of Tham Felmley. During the trial, Morgase declares Perrin not guilty of murder, but guilty of killing illegally, leaving the sentence up to Galad. Galad, though, chooses not to tell Perrin his punishment yet, agreeing to allow Perrin to first fight at the Last Battle before facing it.
A short time later, Perrin's forces return to the Whitecloak encampment. Galad, thinking himself to be deceived, prepares to do battle with Aybara before realizing that Aybara's troops are battling an army of Trollocs, trying to save him. After combining forces to defeat the Shadowspawn, Galad sees the truth about Perrin and declares that his sentence is to fight with all his might at Tarmon Gai'don and that Perrin owes a blood price to the families of the dead men. After witnessing Perrin's compassion when he finds Jerum Nus, Galad is convinced that he is not a Darkfriend. Perrin then asks that the Children fight with his men and that he be accepted as their commander. Galad agrees to this request until the Last Battle is done.
Galad attends Morgase and Martyn Tallanvor's wedding ceremony with Berelain, which is carried out by Perrin. He then Travels with Perrin to Andor where he is reunited with his sister Elayne, who has now become Queen. He Travels through with Perrin and the rest of his huge force to the Field of Merrilor to prepare for the Last Battle.
The Last Battle
Galad and the Children of the Light join the Andoran component of the Army of Light. He rides with Perrin's hit and run force, to try and bait the Trollocs away from Caemlyn's walls and follow them into the ambush awaiting them in Braem Wood. Perrin grabs his attention and tells everyone that he must leave the army. Perrin places Tamlin al'Thor in charge of the army in his absence. Galad is watches the Ogier fight in battle and is shocked at their ferocity, but is thankful they are on their side.
At a crucial point, Mat sends him a protective ter'angreal, the foxhead medallion, and orders him to kill as many Sharan channelers as he can. During this mission, he finds Gawyn, mortally wounded by Demandred. Before he dies, Gawyn relates that Rand is also a son of Tigraine Mantear and thus Galad's half-brother. Galad continues to hunt Sharans, and eventually finds Demandred. He challenges the Forsaken as Rand's brother, taunting that the Dragon is elsewhere.
Galad fares better than Gawyn, but still Demandred is too skilled for him. Despite taking a cut to the knee, the Forsaken wins when a slice to Galad's arm tears the muscle, leaving him unable to grip his sword. He strikes Galad's sword arm off at the elbow and strikes him down, roaring to the Dragon that he has beaten his brother, the man in white.
Later, Annoura finds Galad and transports him to Mayene, where Berelain cares for him. While he's recovering, Berelain sees the foxhead medallion around his neck and hears him mumbling that the medallion must be returned to Mat. She passes the medallion to Lan, who has appeared through a gateway to check on the wounded.
Min viewed, in the Lord of Chaos, that Berelain will meet "a man in white who will make her fall head over heels." This man in white appears to be Galad. In Towers of Midnight, Galad and Berelain seem to be taken with each other.
During Galad's fight with Eamon Valda, he describes a heightened sense of awareness: "Every creak of saddle leather was clear and distinct, every ringing stamp of hoof on paving stone. He could hear the flies buzzing ten feet away as though they were at his ear. He almost thought he could see the movements of their wings." These sensory experiences aren't described in the same way by others who use the Oneness (Lan Mandragoran, Tam al'Thor), only channelers. Thus there is a chance, given Galad's parentage (relatives on both his mother's side and his father's side can channel), that he has spark and has begun to channel unconsciously.
Galad is a parallel to Galahad, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. Galahad was the illegitimate son of Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic. The name of Galahad's mother could also be a reference to Galad's family relation to Elayne.
His sign, the "Winged Silver Sword" pointing down, is the same symbol used by the S.A.S. (special air services), the special ops division of the British Army
Interestingly, Gil-galad is also the name of a legendary elven king in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, and the word "galad" also means "light" in the fictional Elvish language Sindarin.